Sunday’s playoff game between the Detroit Lions and and Los Angeles Rams is going to bring out a lot of emotions, especially ugly ones given what’s on the line. The Rams are set to travel to Detroit on Wild Card Weekend in what will be Matthew Stafford’s return to Detroit and his first game back at Ford Field.
A major Lions’ fan group called “The Detroit Line” shared an Instagram post imposing a Matthew Stafford “jersey ban” for Sunday’s game. The post read,
“We are calling for a Lions-Stafford jersey ban on Sunday. Detroit will not, and should not, be celebrating him this week. He is now our enemy (in a sporting sense). He asked to be traded. He didn’t believe in this franchise anymore and wanted the easy road with a ready-made winner. Please don’t wear a Lions-Stafford jersey to the game. If you do, we hope you get ridiculed and have it confiscated. This is not a time to be cute or funny. This is about business and putting the final nail in the SOL coffin. By the way, we will accept duct tape and “WILLIAMS” in sharpie on the name plate.”
Stafford spent the first 12 years of his career in Detroit where he became the team’s all-time leading passer and one of the franchise’s great players. With the Lions entering yet another regime and re-build, Stafford sought out a trade to potentially end his career with a contender. That’s exactly what happened as Stafford helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl in his first season.
Matthew’s wife, Kelly, who is active on Instagram responded to the post saying,
“Well this is sad because it’s the completely opposite of how we feel about this city, but Matthew has always been the bigger person and will continue to be that. Praying for an incredible game with zero injuries.”
It’s worth noting that in 2021, Rams fans and Kelly helped send a huge Stafford fan that went viral for his reaction after the LA quarterback completed a pass to Cooper Kupp in the final moments of the Divisional Round game to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Lions are hosting a playoff game for the first time in 30 years after earning their first NFC North title in its current form. While Stafford helped take the Lions to the postseason three times, they never hosted or won a playoff game.
Stafford has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL since coming off of the Rams’ bye week in Week 11. Since Week 11, Stafford ranks fifth in the NFL in EPA per play. Prior to New Year’s Eve against the New York Giants, he had gone four consecutive games without throwing an interception. Stafford didn’t need a chip on his shoulder in his return to Detroit, but this will certainly give him one.